Thursday, April 30th, 2015

ThinkTank I: Admiralty Room

9:30 AM - 10:45 AM

Advertising and Micro-Commerce, Games and Game Networks - Mobile, Broadband and Console - Serving Individuals and Communities of Interest

Michael Ritter, SVP Business & Corporate Development, SGN

Maura Sparks, founder, KissAppGames

Blair Ethington, SVP of Marketing & Brands, Crowdstar
Eugene Youn, CRO, Ninja Metrics, Moderator

Speakers to be announced


Maura Sparks, Founder, KissAppGames: Maura Sparks has been a key member in several start-ups. She recently co-founded, KissAppGames, a casual game company for mobile and the web. In our first game, Glass Ceiling, our hero fights her way up the corporate ladder-literally. By battling fresh men,  backstabbing co-workers, asinine accountants, crazy clients, and bad bosses. We anticipate building a franchise around our characters to expand the brand beyond games. At Broadband Mechanics, a white label social network company, she developed social networks and social media for corporate clients. She co-founded an interactive entertainment company, Pop Rocket, which she grew from first sketch to achieving worldwide recognition. As part of the core development team, she created graphics, video, and animation for their award-winning music video adventure game. She also managed the operations and worked closely with all departments to implement company vision and strategy. A veteran of the multimedia industry, she has been involved with producing and marketing pioneering software, such as: Swivel 3D, Modelshop, Spaceship Warlock, Total Distortion and PeopleAggregator.


Blair Ethington, SVP of Marketing & Brands at Crowdstar, has a history of successfully leading multiple products in ecommerce, gaming, and mobile. She is experienced in all facets of a product from product strategy, design and development to analytics, marketing and business development. Prior to Crowdstar, Blair worked at eBay and Playdom honing her skills in product management and consumer behavior. Blair took on her next challenge at Crowdstar, where she successfully started and grew the mobile team of this social gaming company. Their first app, Top Girl, became the top grossing game on iOS the day it launched. Seeing the female gaming opportunity and realizing the need of fashion brands to reach the upwardly mobile consumer, Blair and her team launched Covet Fashion, a unique mobile styling game that inspires authentic engagement, drives brand awareness and sales, while collecting valuable consumer behavior data. Blair has been responsible for growing the app to over 2.3 million monthly active users and signing over 150 contemporary to high contemporary fashion brands. She plans on continuing this love of both fashion and technology in future projects. Ethington has a BA in Economics and Public Policy Studies from Duke University.


Eugene Youn, CRO, Ninja Metrics: Eugene is the CRO of Ninja Metrics, the advanced social predictive analytics company, where he is responsible for business development, sales and marketing. Prior to joining Ninja Metrics, Eugene was the VP of Business Development at Rhythm NewMedia (acquired by blinkx plc, 12/2013). At the company, he handled all aspects of Rhythm’s strategic partnerships, serving as a trusted adviser to Rhythm's partners in navigating the fragmented mobile technology landscape.  Eugene has over a decade of experience developing and managing key strategic partnerships in the media industry, gaining mobile and entertainment expertise as the Senior Manager of Strategy & Business Development at Disney. Eugene graduated from Yale University with a Bachelor’s degree in History. He also holds a Masters of Business Administration from The Kellogg School of Management and a Juris Doctorate from Northwestern University.



Michael Ritter, SVP Business & Corporate Development, SGN: As Senior Vice President of Business & Corporate Development at SGN, Michael Ritter oversees all distribution, partnerships, licensing, monetization and corporate development activities. Prior to SGN, Ritter was Founder and Publisher of Saturday Night Magazine, which he built into the largest circulated monthly collegiate lifestyle and entertainment magazine in the country. Services included event marketing, promotions and consulting for clients such as Geico Insurance, US Army, Playboy, Chegg, Fox, Universal Pictures and Warner Bros. Ritter serves on the Board of Advisors of Ritter Pharmaceuticals, which is in the process of FDA clinical trials to be the first approved drug to treat lactose intolerance. He graduated from the University of Southern California and also received his MBA from USC.